Is the Brain Analogous to a Quantum Measuring Apparatus?

In Shyam Wuppuluri & Anthony C. Grayling (eds.), Metaphors and Analogies in Sciences and Humanities: Words and Worlds. Cham: Springer Synthese Library. pp. 215-235 (2022)
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Researchers have suggested since the early days of quantum theory that there are strong analogies between quantum phenomena and mental phenomena and these have developed into a vibrant new field of quantum cognition during recent decades. After revisiting some early analogies by Niels Bohr and David Bohm, this paper focuses upon Bohm and Hiley’s ontological interpretation of quantum theory which suggests further analogies between quantum phenomena and biological and psychological phenomena, including the proposal that the human brain operates in some ways like a quantum measuring apparatus. After discussing these analogies I will also consider, from a quantum perspective, Hintikka’s suggestion that Kant’s notion of things in themselves can be better understood by making an analogy between our knowledge-seeking activities and an elaborate measuring apparatus.

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Paavo Pylkkänen
University of Helsinki


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